By Muslim Mirror News,
The minister of Minority Affairs Dr Najma Heptullah has sketched out the plans for the welfare and development of the six notified minority communities. In response to a question she has given the details of her programme for the development of minorities
According to Dr Heptullah “The present Government has accelerated the pace of welfare of six notified minorities including the implementation of the existing schemes. The thrust area of the present Government is skilling of minority youth and their placement and also preservation of heritage of minorities including promotion of their traditional arts and crafts. These programmes/schemes are being reviewed and restructured in accordance with the policies of the present Government”.
The details of the steps being taken by the present Government for the welfare of the Minorities are-
- USTAAD:- The Scheme aims at upgrading Skills and Training in preservation of traditional Ancestral Arts/Crafts of minorities.
- Hamari Darohar:- The Scheme aims to preserve rich heritage of minority communities in context of Indian culture.
- Khwaza Garib Nawaz Senior Secondary School will be established at Ajmer by Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) to give a fillip to minority education.
- Nai Manzil: A bridge course to bridge the academic and skill development gaps of the deeni Madrasa passouts with their mainstream counterparts.
- Strengthening of State Wakf Boards: The scheme envisages to provide assistance for meeting the training and administrative cost of State Wakf Boards, removal of encroachment from Waqf Properties and also strengthening of Zonal/Regional offices of Waqf Boards.
The details of steps taken by the previous Government for minority welfare and achievements made thereof include
· Multi Sectoral Development Programme (MsDP): - This is an area development scheme which aims to improve the quality of life of the people and reduce imbalances in the Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs). Identified development deficits are addressed through a district specific plan with provision of infrastructure creation for schools, sanitation, pucca housing, drinking water and electricity supply, besides beneficiary oriented schemes. The focus of this programme is on rural and semi-rural areas of the identified 90 Minority Concentration Districts. The scheme has been restructured for implementation during 12th Five Year Plan. Block has been made the unit of planning in place of district, the programme has been expanded to minority concentration towns/cities and cluster of minority concentration villages. The restructured programme covers 710 Minority Concentration Bocks (MCBs) & 66 Minority Concentration Towns (MCTs) covering 196 districts of 26 States in the country. This would sharpen the focus on minority concentration areas.Since inception, projects of Rs. 6310.61 Crore have been approved under MsDP and Rs. 4534.25 Crore has been released for its implementation. 1092 Schools building, 20,756 additional Class rooms, 645 hostels, 3645 Health Centers, 34,533 Anganwadi Centers, 117 ITIs, 44 Polytechnic Institutes, 40,799 Drinking Water supply, 3,35743 houses on Indra Awas Yojana pattern have been approved under MsDP till 31st March,2014.
· Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme:- Under this Scheme, scholarships are awarded to minority students up to class X, who have secured not less than 50% marks in the previous final examination and the annual income of their parents/ guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs. 1.00 lakh. 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students. During the year 2013-14 total achievement is 7794190 and the amount released of Rs. 963.79 Crore.
· Post-matric Scholarship Scheme:- Under this Scheme, scholarships are awarded to minority students from class XI onwards who have secured not less than 50% marks or equivalent grade in the previous final examination and the annual income of whose parents/ guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs.2.00 lakh. 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students. During the year 2013-14 total achievement is 890467 and the amount release of Rs. 515.76 Crore.
· Maulana Azad National Fellowship For Minority Students: - The objective of the Fellowship is to provide integrated five year fellowships in the form of financial assistance to minority students to pursue higher studies such as M.Phil and Ph.D. The Fellowship covers all Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC). 30% of the Scholarships are earmarked for the girl students. During the year 2013-14 total Fellowship sanctioned 3776 under the scheme and the amount release of Rs. 50 Crore.
· Merit-cum Means based Scholarship: - The Merit-cum means based Scholarship Scheme provides financial assistance to the poor and meritorious minority students pursuing professional studies at graduate and post-graduate levels. 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students.
· Free Coaching and Allied Scheme: - Under this scheme, candidates belonging to the minority community are provided financial assistance for coaching in Government and the private sector institutes for imparting coaching/training for Competitive Exams, Information Technology and other employment oriented courses. 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students. During the year 2013-14 total 9997 no. of students benefited under the fund released of Rs. 236642000.
· National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC): - Government contributes equity capital to NMDFC for implementation of its schemes at concessional rates of interest which are viz. micro financing scheme, term loan, educational loans, skill development and Mahila Samridhi Yojana etc. During 11th Five Year Plan and two years of 12th Five Year Plan, NMDFC has disbursed total loans worth Rs. 1673.76 Crore covering 6.46 Lakh minority beneficiaries.
· Grant-in-aid to Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF): - Grants-in-aid are released to MAEF towards its Corpus Fund. MAEF provides Grant-in-aid to the minority institutions for infrastructure development and distribution of scholarships to the minority girl students studying in classes XI and XII. The expenditure on these schemes is met out of the interest earned on the Corpus Fund. Till date, amount of Rs.910 crore has been released towards the corpus fund of MAEF.
· Maulana Azad Sehat Scheme: The Scheme aims to provide annual health check-up of students studying in institutions aided by Maulana Azad Education Foundation and also provides financial assistance upto Rs.2 lakhs for minority students for serious illnesses studying in institutions aided by Maulana Azad Education Foundation.
· Computerization of records of State Wakf Boards: In order to streamline record keeping of the Waqf lands, introduce transparency & social audit, computerize the various functions/processes of the Waqf Boards and develop a single web based centralized application, computerization of the records of the State Waqf Boards is carried out with the help of Central financial assistance. An amount of Rs. 16.18 Crore has been release to the State Waqf Boards (SWB), Central Waqf council and National Informatics Center (NIC) till date. The Centerlized Computing facility has been setup in 27 SWBs and data entry in Waqf Management System of India (WAMSI) Modules is in progress as on date, 3, 08,443 no. of waqf properties have been entered in registration Modules, 11,588 no. of Waqf properties entered in return number, 2,725 no. of Waqf properties entered in leasing module and 5,062 no. of Waqf properties entered in litigation module.
· Establishment of National Waqf Development Corporation for the development of Waqf properties in the country.
· Nai Roshni:- A scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women has been launched from 2012-13 with the objective to empower and instill confidence in women, by providing knowledge, tools and techniques to interact with Government systems, banks, and intermediaries at all levels so that they are emboldened to move out of the confines of home and assume leadership roles. The scheme is implemented through Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). During 2012-13, Ministry has sanctioned Rs. 10.45 Crore and supported training of 36950 women in 12 States. During 2013-14, Ministry has sanctioned Rs. 11.96 Crore for training of 60,875 women in 24 States.
· Seekho Aur Kamao: - The Ministry has launched “Seekho Aur Kamao (Learn and Earn)” a new 100% Central Sector Scheme for Skill Development of minorities in September 2013. The scheme is implemented by private professional skill development organizations/companies. The scheme ensures employment of minimum 75% trained candidates, and out of them 50% in organized sector. The scheme reserves minimum 33% seats for minority women. During 2013-14 under the scheme, Rs. 17.00 Crore were released for skill training of 20,164 minority youths.
· Jiyo Parsi:- Jiyo Parsi is a new scheme for containing population decline of Parsis in India, that has been launched during the current year 2013-14 with the objective to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions to stabilize their population and increase the population of Parsis in India. Ministry extends financial assistance for outreach programme/ advocacy and fertility treatment as per scheme guidelines. The scheme is implemented with assistance from Parzor Foundation with the help of Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP). Financial outlay for 12th Plan is Rs. 10.00 Crore under the scheme. During 2013-14, Rs. 0.41 Crore were released under Advocacy component.
· “Nalanda Project” is a Pilot Project for Development of Faculties of Minority Universities/ Minority Managed Degree Colleges (MMDCs) and higher educational institutions located in minority concentration areas, launched on 3rd March 2014 at Aligarh Muslim University, the Nodal Staff College of University Grants Commission.
· “Minority Cyber Gram” was launched for Digital literacy of Minorities in collaboration with Digital Empowerment Foundation in PPP Mode at village Chandauli, District Alwar, Rajasthan on 19.02.2014. Total 2,600 villagers have been targeted under this pilot project.
· Magazine “Minority Today”: - To improve public interface, generate awareness and develop dialogue with target communities, Ministry has launched a quarterly tri-lingual (Hindi, English and Urdu) Magazine “Minority” Today in January, 2014.
· Support for Minority students clearing Prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commissions, Staff Selection Commission, State Public Service Commissions. The objective of the scheme is to provide financial support to the minority candidates clearing prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commissions, Staff Selection Commission, State Public Service Commissions to adequately equip them to compete for appointment to Civil Services in the Union and the State Governments and to increase the representation of the minorities in the Civil Services by giving direct financial support to candidates clearing Preliminary Examination. There is no State/UT wise allocation under this scheme. This scheme was launched in 2013-14, an amount of Rs. 95.25 lakh have been released to award Financial Assistance to 274 candidates under this Scheme in the current year.
· Further Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities is an overarching programme which covers various schemes of concerned Ministries/Departments either by earmarking15% of physical targets/financial outlays for the minorities or by specific monitoring of flow of benefits/funds to areas with substantial minority population. Presently 24 Schemes implemented by 11 Ministries/ departments including 7 Schemes of Ministry of Minority Affairs, are covered under this programme.